According to the New York Post, a special meal in honor of Black History Month at NBC’s cafeteria in New York has come under fire after a spread featuring fried chicken, collard greens and black-eyed peas was served—though the African-American chef who planned it says she doesn’t understand the outrage.
The controversy began when Questlove, the drummer for Jimmy Fallon’s house band the Roots, posted a photo of the menu on Twitter, on which he has some 1.2 million followers.
“Questlove, who I serve every day and who enjoys my food, requested the neck bone [cooked in] the black-eyed peas and fried chicken, then got off the line, saying, ‘This is racist,’ ” said the chef, Leslie Calhoun.”The next thing you know, people were taking pictures of the sign and asking all the other black people in the cafeteria if this was racist. They said that it wasn’t.”
NBC responded via its official corporate communications Twitter with the following statement: “The sign in the NBCU cafeteria has been removed. We apologize for anyone who was offended by it.”
UPDATE: Questlove tells Popeater that he didn’t mean to stir up controversy online: “It was a joke taken too far. I’ll be packing a lunch for the next two years.”